2012 looks like it could be a very interesting year- in terms of what some of the more notable names on the web are shooting with.
Firstly, David Hobby announced that he had bought a Phase One, and rather eloquently put his case forward as to why he made this choice.
Now, another big name on the web Zack Arias has chosen a Phase One, this time in the shape of the cutting edge IQ140.
Well, if you read his blog you will see he shares many of the reasons that David Hobby does.
Image Quality, Sync Speed, Slowing Down and 'That Look', amongst others.
Image quality is on a higher plane from anything else, without doubt in my mind and you can reach the heady heights of 1/1600 Sec sync speed with big flash which is unparalleled but I want to take a closer look at the two later points, Slowing Down and 'That Look'
'That Look' is rather difficult to put ones finger on but it is a massive factor for me. I believe that it is a culmination of sheer physical sensor size, dynamic range, 16 bit capture, optics.
There are other factors too, Zack does allude to it but I believe sitters sometimes do behave differently when in front of a medium format camera, even the most non camera aware sitter is often aware that this camera is different.
So, a sense of occasion and the formats sheer difference should be overlooked as in my opinion they are a factor.
Slowing down is such a big deal.
When you slow down you think, when I slow down my attention to detail is greatly enhanced, which makes a massive difference to the final shot.
Great photography happens in the brain.
At the end of this month I have a major exhibition (more details very soon.....), and not one of the prints are smaller than a meter along the longest edge.
I would not consider anything else other than a Phase One for this.
The photograph of Shala at the top of this blog, taken at the excellent 'Nordlandsdagarna' in Sweden where I was invited to speak at last year, is shot on a (Borrowed) Phase One IQ 180 (and other than downsized is untouched)
The excellent IQ180 is not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination.
But take a look at David Hobby's approach, he bought a Phase One P25+, he wanted the big sensor and 16bit capture to give his photographs 'That Look'
I shot my 'Alice' series entirely on the Phase One P25.
These backs are available secondhand at very modest prices, if you want a foot on the ladder you could do much, much worse.......